Home hero Loris Baz secured two podiums at Magny-Cours in difficult conditions as he claimed his first podium on home soil in WorldSBK
Wet conditions made the Pirelli French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours a thrilling round with three races full of action in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was able to master the conditions as he secured two podiums on home soil; the first of his WorldSBK career.
Baz has now secured four podiums throughout the 2020 season, the second-highest number he has had in one season with only the 2014 season more successful in terms of scoring podiums for the Frenchman. The two podiums scored across the Magny-Cours weekend for Baz were his first in 2020 in the two feature-length races after the previous two came in Tissot Superpole Races at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
It means the 27-year-old has gained ground on Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) in the battle to be crowned top Independent rider in 2020 with the gap down to 31 points with 62 available across the season-ending Estoril Round. Baz’s second podium of the weekend meant he secured the 150th podium in WorldSBK for France.
Reacting after Sunday’s Race 2 podium, Baz said: “Really happy and even more today than Saturday as these are conditions I usually don’t like with the wet track when it’s not raining. I’m struggling a lot. In the Superpole Race, it was this kind of condition and I was overheating the tyre and struggling a lot. Hats off and thanks to my team, especially my crew chief who gave me the confidence to use the hard rear tyre. I went for it, I expected to struggle a lot at the beginning but was hoping to catch at the end, but I was really strong from Lap 1.
“It took me a bit of time to overtake the guys and also had to wait for a bit for a feeling from the rear tyre as I didn’t know what to expect. I managed to come through and then was behind Jonny until the moment he gave up for a few laps on Scott as he had a few moments, I overtook him. It was hard because I wanted to push to come back on Scott but on one side I knew if I was pushing too much, I was overheating the tyre again. I had to play with that, I really expected Chaz to overtake me as he had really strong pace, but then I think he had more or less the same problem. I’m really happy to do it at home, second podium this weekend, in front of some fans who braved the bad weather.”
The battle for top Independent rider is heading towards a tense conclusion as WorldSBK heads to Estoril for the final round of the season with both Baz and Rinaldi battling it out for the honours. Rinaldi has the points advantage, but Baz appears to be back on form after securing three podiums across the past two rounds.
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